New hip hop number dominates local music charts  



MASERU – A new Extended Play (EP) by hip hop artiste, Magnum Maestro, has dominated the Lesotho Music (LesMusic) charts for a week.  The Sagittarius-A Star Deluxe (SGR-A * EP) occupied the number one to seven spots on the LesMusic top 30 charts last week.  The EP, which was released on May 4 started making rounds on the music charts and socials on the following day of its release. Maestro’s new hip hop EP is the deluxe version of the EP he released in 2022 news’s Eve titled Sagittarius-A Star.

“The deluxe offers a more holistic version of the project with more familiar sounds of kwaito, house and drill infused into the overall sound while retaining distinctly hip hop/rap elements, hence, it is classified overall as hip hop,” said Maestro in an interview with Public Eye. “About 70% of the songs are produced by Magnum Maestro himself under the alias “The Eternal One” which is a shift from the original EP that only had two songs.” Maestro further says: “The EP has seven songs in total, which is two songs more than what the original project had. None of the tracks in the original EP made it back.”

The hip hop artiste says overall, the project cuts across different genres, styles and tastes.

“It is a holistic project that is all inclusive of most sounds and rhythms. One does not necessarily have to be a hip hop fan to jam to it. “This is a point Magnum aims to establish on every “Deluxe” project he makes. It is a project that guarantees at least one song to love from each genre,” he says.  Maestro is an Award-winning hip hop recording artiste hailing from Maputsoe, Leribe.  He began crafting his art in the latter half of 2008 under the rap name J-sick. A year later, upon changing to the hard-core sub-genre, he changed his stage name to Magnum Maestro.

In 2010, Maestro co-founded and led the Black Panthers, a crew of hard-core rappers from Maputsoe which was named after the famous African American liberation movement of the same name. The crew consisted of 10 members at one point, and during its existence it released two mixtapes independently, the 24 Thorns in 2009 and Jaws & Claws in 2011, both released under Black Panthers Music &co.

In October 2019, Maestro became brand ambassador and artiste with Maputsoe-based film and fashion label Tycoon Series after being a long time affiliate with the brand.

This partnership goes on to see Maestro partaking in a wide range of Tycoon Series platforms including events, movies and advertisements. In 2020, Maestro released and sold a few singles through a Lesotho-based mobile money service and WhatsApp to counteract the effects of the lockdowns caused by the outbreak of the novel COVID-19 pandemic.  

He also had a string of live shows streamed through Facebook at the time. This allowed him to stay in touch with his fans while also making a living at a time when artistes found it difficult to work. In 2021, Maestro released Digital Rain EP which also rose to the top of the LesMusic top 30 charts.  The six track EP dominated the music top charts for some weeks with all six singles reaching top six spot.

In March 2022, he launched the Magnum Maestro Live Sunday Hip Hop Sessions. This initiative aims at giving upcoming artistes platform to showcase their talent for crowds on specific Sundays in the Maputsoe area so that they could build a name for themselves.

In October 2022, Maestro won the award for Video of the Year at the Lesotho Music Awards ceremony held at Lehakoe Sports and Recreation Centre in Maseru. In November of the same year, Maestro signed a deal to become brand ambassador to BNA sneakers, which is Lesotho’s sneaker that combines Basotho heritage and modern sneaker wear styles and materials.

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